HELSINKI — Estonia’s military says it is looking for the remains of a missile that a Spanish fighter jet accidentally fired while drilling in the air space of the Baltic country and NATO ally.
The military said that the Eurofighter Typhoon from the Spanish Air Force — part of NATO's Baltic air-policing mission — erroneously launched an AMRAAM-type air-to-air missile in a practice area in southern Estonia Tuesday afternoon.
A major U.S.-led military exercise with 18,000 soldiers from 19 primarily NATO countries has kicked off in the alliance’s eastern flank involving Poland and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
The missile carried explosives of up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and was last located around 40 kilometers (24 miles) north of Estonia's second city of Tartu. It has a built-in self-destruct for such accidents, but may have landed on the ground.
Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said on Facebook “thank God no human casualties,” calling the incident “extremely regrettable.”
NATO’s top general in Europe has poured a bit of cold water on the notion that the Baltics are sitting defenseless against Russian military whims.